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In our series on design innovation spotlights, we’re taking a look at curvy concrete. By carefully shaping concrete, the material becomes far more sensual and warm than it usually appears.

The designs are works by Itai Bar-on, an Israeli designer from a family of constructors. In the work shown here, the material is folded, curved or moulded to suit a range of applications.

Whether this is for lights, furniture or walls, the effect is clear. The concrete used has different dimensions than usual, and this is made visible in the design.

In the wall lighting, a concrete tile is given a raised corner to allow illumination into a room or staircase. The lighting elements use wrap-around concrete that gives a feeling of lightness to the lamps. Narrow grooves and slices in the material accentuate this idea.

A contrast can be seen in the range of wavy tiles. These are hand-made using a proprietary process and sculpted into bulging shapes, that can tessellate so that they can be used in wall-covering. Each tile is manufactured in four stages: casting, extraction, curing and packing.

Advances in concrete production and processing make these and similar designs possible. This innovation, particularly in the bending of concrete, means that limits are pushed of what is possible. High-gloss finishes and free-from designs are the result.

In short, Itai Bar-on’s work is simple, yet advanced. The concrete has a lightness and dynamic to it, in stark contrast to the weight of the material. The success of these designs is visible in the manner that the concrete is refined from the cold, hard material we know as concrete. In this ‘new’ form, concrete becomes a material of luxury and textured warmth.

This design spotlight continues the series that kicked off last week with a great wood and textile workshop. In our travels, Materia has the opportunity to visit various designers and producers. At a recent show with Parqueteam in Israel, we discovered experts in a variety of fields. The ideas and method of working with concrete presented here show how a designer’s touch can lift material to new levels.

Photos by Gilad Langer.